Quality Digest Case Study

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CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION 1.1 Research Background
Back in the olden days, the success of an organisation was determined by the quality nature of products they provided their customers. It was believed that customers were ignorant and did not know exactly what they wanted and therefore accepted whatever was given them; thus the final decision rested on the producer or service provider. The case however, in today’s business environment is the reverse. Due to technological advancements, increased competition and the fact that people have become more informed and knowledgeable, customers now determine exactly what they want. Even though the quality nature
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Management should therefore, accurately assess customer expectations and attempt to bridge the gaps between those expectations and organizational capabilities.
The editors of Quality Digest say that defining the word 'quality' is 'no simple endeavor'. They asked in their December 1999 edition, for readers to send them their definitions of quality to be gathered and posted on Quality Digest on-line and the following definitions were provided for consideration: Quality is the degree to which something meets or exceeds the expectations of customers. Quality is the on-going process of building and sustaining relationships by assessing, anticipating and fulfilling stated and implied needs. The word 'Quality' represents the properties of products and/or services that are valued by the customer. When something is what you expect it to be then it is perceived as quality; it is the fulfillment of
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Decreased cost iii. Improved productivity iv. Increased market share
v. Stay in business vi. Provide more jobs and more jobs
W. E. Deming (1986) in his book 'Out of the Crisis' offered fourteen key principles for transforming business effectiveness - among which included: Creating constancy of purpose towards improvement of product and service, with the aim to become competitive and stay in business, and to provide jobs Cease dependence on inspection to achieve quality. Eliminate the need for inspection on a mass basis by building quality into the product in the first place Improve constantly and forever the system of production and service, to improve quality and productivity, and thus constantly reduce costs etc.
2.4 The Concept of Service Quality
The fundamentals of service quality, is the belief that an organization exists to service its customers, if it intends to survive and flourish in a highly competitive environment. Service quality stresses that customers are worth listening to and that they are the best judges of the quality of the service they use. Attention to service quality, therefore, enables an organization to develop a partnership with its customers to gain a competitive edge - Henon et al (2001). Crous (2006) appreciates the view that recognizing the importance of customer service delivery is to put the interest of people at the centre of management thinking and decision making

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